’Kalak’ selected for San Sebastián competition

SAN SEBASTIAN. Isabella Eklöf’s second feature film ’Kalak’ has been selected for the main competition at San Sebastián Film Festival and will have its world premiere September 23.

In ‘Kalak’, Jan is on the run from himself after being sexually abused by his father. Living in Greenland with his small family, he yearns to be a part of the open, collectivist culture and become a Kalak, a "dirty Greenlander". 

An adaptation of Kim Leine’s autobiographical novel of the same name from 2007, the film stars Norwegian Emil Johnsen as Jan and features a Swedish, Danish and Greenlandic cast that includes Asta August as Lærke, Connie Kristoffersen as Ella, Vigga Tukala as Nikoline, Berda Larsen as Karina and Søren Hellerup as Jan’s father.

Director Isabella Eklöf had her breakthrough in 2018 with the critically acclaimed debut film ’Holiday’ which premiered in Sundance in 2018 and then travelled the festival circuit extensively and won awards domestically. Isabella Eklöf also co-wrote the screenplay for ‘Border’ with director Ali Abbasi, which received critical acclaim and won Un Certain Regard at Cannes Film Festival in 2018. 

Isabella Eklӧf says: “This is a very personal story based on Kim Leine’s life that I was truly honored to bring to the big screen. A way in which we could truly honor the culture of both Denmark and Greenland, and I am deeply proud of the film we have made and look forward to sharing it with the world”. 

Isabella Eklöf has written the script with med Kim Leine and Sissel Dalsgaard Thomsen and Maria Møller Kjeldgaard has produced for Manna Film with support from The Danish Film Institute. Co-producers include Norwegian Mer Film, Swedish Momento Film and Film i Väst, Finnish MADE, Dutch Lemming Film and Greenlandic Polarama Greenland. Heads of departments include director of photography Nadim Carlsen, production designer Josephine Farsø, sound editor Mark Glynne, costume designer Sascha Valbjørn and Isabella Eklöf working in collaboration with Anna Eborn on the editing.

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Lizette Gram Mygind
Festivalkonsulent, spillefilm
Tlf. +45 2482 3758

In addition to ‘Kalak’, this year’s San Sebastián also features Nikolaj Arcel’s (‘A Royal Affair’) historical epic ‘The Promised Land’ in the Perlak-section which focusses on critically acclaimed festival films yet unreleased in Spain. Last year’s San Sebastián included multiple Danish films: ‘The Great Silence’ (dir. Katrine Brocks), ‘Forever’ (dir. Frelle Petersen) and the winner of the Zabaltegi-Tabakalera-section, ‘Godland’ directed by Hlynur Pálmason. San Sebastián 2023 runs from 22-30 September. Read more at https://www.sansebastianfestival.com/in/